Now aged 73, Mcgurk was a mere 12 seconds off eventual runner-up Brian Ball when he approached the old roadside pits, in front of the Grandstand on Glencrutchery Road, for fuel at half distance. His own pit was obscured by cameramen who had swarmed the area for Ago’s stop alongside and Mcgurk was initially unsighted. When he did spot his crew he braked hard and came down like a ton of bricks on the metal drainage grids, snapping a footrest off his G50. It put him out of the race. “I was up to sixth place behind Brian Ball, who lost considerable time in the second half with mechanical problems and eventually finished more than eight minutes adrift of Ago,” explains Oldham man Mcgurk. “I’d overtaken eventual third place finisher Barry Randle at Barregarrow on lap three, but the remainder of the top six, with the exception of Agostini, retired.” The 1968 Senior was indeed a race of considerable attrition, with just 37 riders from a total field of 85 completing the distance.
John Hartle, who had been a non-starter for the Junior after a first lap mishap at Windy Corner in the Production race at the start of the week, also came off the MV-3 at Cronk-ny-mona, leaving Alan Barnett (Kirby Metisse), Griff Jenkins (Matchless), Derek Woodman (Seeley), Peter Williams (Matchless) and Malcolm Uphill (Norton) to chase the runaway works MV. Barnett and Williams retired and Uphill slowed considerably, so John Cooper moved into second place ahead of Kel Carruthers and Percy Tait. Brian Ball moved onto the leaderboard in fifth, one place ahead of Mcgurk who was riding his own Matchless fitted with the front brake off Tom Kirby’s 7R AJS. Woodman slowed on lap four, and with Mcgurk sidelined, Barry Randle and Jim Curry were elevated into the top six. With less than two laps remaining, Agostini led Cooper by almost four minutes, with Ball up to third. Cooper lost his chance of a best ever TT finish when he was forced to retire at Sulby Bridge, leaving Ball and Petty Norton-mounted Randle to battle it out for the runner-up spot. At the close, the gaping distance between first and second was eight minutes and 29 seconds, but the margin between Ball and Randle was reduced to a mere four-tenths of a second as Ball nursed his Seeley to the line with gearbox problems. This (1968) was the year that Ago completed the first of his four Junior/senior TT doubles. He won the Junior at a record average speed of 104.78mph from Renzo Pasolini on the works Benelli, with Bill Smith third on a Honda following the retirements of Heinz Rosner (MZ) and Kel Carruthers (Aermacchi) on lap three.